USF women: 27 turnovers in exhibition loss
It's only an exhibition, of course, but it's hardly an encouraging start for Jose Fernandez's women's basketball team, which lost 65-63 on Sunday to the Miami Sun, a traveling team of former college players. The Bulls committed 27 turnovers (while forcing 28) and shot 27 percent from the field against a team that they beat 101-54 before last season.
Fernandez had three first-year Bulls starting, and with heavy turnover on his roster, there's some transitioning to be expected. And the bench got a long look, with 10 players playing at least nine minutes. But the numbers weren't too pretty. Some notes off the boxscore:
-- Center Jessica Lawson, expected to be a major post presence for the Bulls, went 0-for-4 from the field with six turnovers in 21 minutes. Keep in mind she hasn't played in two and a half years, so there's some rust to be expected. She did have six rebounds.
-- Guard Shantia Grace, expected to be USF's top scorer after shifting from point guard, scored seven points in 29 minutes, though she was one of two Bulls to have more assists than turnovers.
-- Two promising debuts, as junior point guard Jazmine Sepulveda had a team-high 13 points, along with seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. Freshman Gianna Messina started and scored 11, though she didn't do much else (1 rebound, 1 assist) in 25 minutes.
-- Senior ChiChi Okpaleke made a case to stay the starting power forward, with eight points, a team-high nine rebounds and five steals. Two challengers didn't show much -- sophomore Porche Grant didn't take a shot and had one rebound in 13 minutes, while junior Ashley Sanders (who USF expects big things from) had six points in 20 minutes.
-- Not sure how the Miami Sun won. When you get outrebounded, when you go 2-for-14 on 3-pointers, when you have 10 assists and 28 turnovers, you really shouldn't win.
The Bulls have another week to prepare for their actual season opener Nov. 13 against Bethune-Cookman, though they go right from there to a Nov. 15 showdown against Duke in the St. Pete Times Forum. In all, the Bulls have five games in a span of eight days. Any thoughts? Observations from anyone in attendance?